Tory will invest in health care for high-growth communities



    OSHAWA, ON, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - Ontario PC Leader John Tory vowed today to
improve access to health care for people in high-growth areas surrounding the
City of Toronto. As a result of four years of neglect under Dalton McGuinty's
Liberal government, residents of the area commonly referred to as 'the 905'
are being forced to seek treatment outside of their own communities.
    "People in all Ontario communities should be able to count on local
healthcare services - services they've paid for with their taxes," Tory said.
"The communities surrounding the City of Toronto are growing at twice the rate
of most communities in Ontario, but there has been little recognition from the
McGuinty government about the impact this is having on local health care."
    Families in the GTA/905 region, particularly those in Durham Region, have
not seen investments in their local health system to help cope with the huge
population growth. Lakeridge Hospital in Oshawa was recently ordered to slash
funding to youth mental health programs in order to qualify for $8 million it
desperately needed in provincial funds.
    Tory's plan includes a clear commitment to maintain and improve the
health care system, with an $8.5 billion investment over four years. In
addition, Tory will provide specific focus on high-growth areas, including:

    
    -   Growth funding for under-serviced areas of Ontario, such as the 905,
        growing to $200 million in new annual funding by the 2011/12 fiscal
        year.

    -   A new funding model for Local Health Integration Networks. The model
        will be designed to respond to the changing needs of high-growth
        communities.
    

    "Our government will increase funding in healthcare in the 905 area, and
we will do this while we phase out Dalton McGuinty's so-called 'health' tax,"
Tory said. "People living in all parts of Ontario have the right to access
quality health care services as close to home as possible."
    For better health care funding - leadership matters.

    Aussi disponible en français


    
                   FOR A BETTER ONTARIO: LEADERSHIP MATTERS

                  HEALTH CARE FUNDING FOR HIGH-GROWTH AREAS
    

    For the past ten years, population in the GTA/905 has grown by
100,000 residents per year. That is twice the rate of the rest of Ontario and
is expected to continue. The number of residents over the age of 65 in the
GTA/905 is also increasing at twice the provincial rate. This sustained rate
of growth, combined with a population that is aging faster than the provincial
average, raises significant concern about the ability of local hospitals to
provide access and deliver appropriate care to residents.
    Dalton McGuinty's refusal to acknowledge the pressures faced by Ontario's
fastest growing communities has resulted in residents being forced to seek
treatment outside of their own communities.
    Dalton McGuinty has forced hospitals to deal with the added pressures
that come with trying to serve a growing - and aging - population on their
own. In some cases, healthcare networks have been forced to cut essential
services. Oshawa and Whitby were not designated as under-serviced before
Dalton McGuinty took office. Now Durham Region is short 41 family doctors,
leaving thousands of patients without the ongoing support they need and
forcing them to find treatment in crowded emergency rooms and walk-in clinics.
    Families in the GTA/905 region don't have access to the health care
services they deserve because Dalton McGuinty has allowed funding to fall
behind population growth and needs in this region.
    A John Tory PC government will ensure the 905 region is fairly funded by:

    
    -   Investing in growth funding for under-serviced areas of Ontario, such
        as the 905, growing to $200 million in new annual funding by the
        2011/12 fiscal year.

    -   Developing a new funding model for Local Health Integration Networks.
        The model will be designed to respond to the changing needs of
        high-growth communities.

    -   Making annual increased health care investments so that by the
        fourth year of our mandate, spending will be $8.5 billion more than
        current levels

    -   Committing to equitable funding based on population needs that will
        not only address high-growth regions but also safeguard access to
        small, rural, and Northern communities

    -   This support for Ontario's growing communities is part of our larger
        commitment to improving Ontario's health care system through the
        following programs:

        -  Increasing the number of doctors in Ontario to ensure that more
           Ontario families have access to a family physician
        -  Enhancing long-term care by bringing 35,000 below-standard care
           spaces up to the highest level
        -  Improving health care for children
        -  Giving each Ontarian a secure, private lifetime electronic record
           of their patient history and care
        -  Expanding mental health services with increased funding, including
           programs to improve access to mental health assessment and
           treatment
        -  Increasing overall health care funding by $8.5 billion annually by
           the end of a four year mandate
    

    Aussi disponible en français

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Mike Van Soelen, Tel: (647) 722-1760

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